Monday, November 10, 2014

Economy Dessert/Meals: Pumpkin

With the November weather turning crisp and cool, if not downright cold, many people still have pumpkins from the patch on their front porch. If you, like our family, opted not to carve our pumpkins this year (Liam painted one) then you may be looking for something to do with your pumpkin. We decided that we were going to eat ours. I mean, we paid for them so it doesn't make sense to let them rot on our front porch when so many delicious seasonal recipes could be made. Pie, muffins, chili- you name it. Cooking the pumpkin and making a pie was actually a lot easier than I though it was going to be, despite the minor set back I had due to an under-stocked pantry.(We didn't have any evaporated milk, so I ended up making some. It was really easy, but a bit time consuming.) Anyway, here we go!

Cooked Pumpkin

1 sugar pumpkin (preferred) or any small/medium pumpkin you have on hand

  • First things first, wash your pumpkin. I don't know about you but the idea of dirt, or other remnants of my trip to the patch, ending up in my puree was not a welcome thought. 
  • Now, if you have any pent up aggression due to all the holiday ads that have already permeated T.V and the radio, this part will be therapeutic for you. You need to stab your pumpkin with a knife at least 10-12 times. And I mean STAB it, no gingerly poking holes. Pumpkins are hard and the shell/rind needs to be penetrated. 
  • Place your whole, newly perforated, pumpkin into a glass baking dish and bake it at 350 for an hour to an hour and ten minutes. You'll know it's done when it's a deep orange color and a fork easily slides in when you poke it.
                               Raw pumpkin on the left, cooked pumpkin on the right
  • Let your pumpkin cool a bit, until its cool enough for you to handle. Then, you cut your pumpkin in half. It'll be surprisingly easy. This method of baking your pumpkin (instead of sawing it half while it's raw) is so simple, and you're much less likely to accidentally cut off your own finger this way.  
  • Next, you need to scoop out the seeds and stringy goopey bits. If you'd like you can set aside your seeds for roasting (yum!).

  • When you're done scooping it's time to get your pumpkin flesh out of the rind. You can a) peel the rind off with your fingers- this is the method I chose- or you can  b) cut the rind off with a paring knife, sort of like you'd peel an apple or potato.
Once you've gotten your pumpkin peeled it's time to dice it up and puree it in a food processor or blender.

Once you're done you can use your pumpkin immediately, refrigerate it for up to a week, or freeze it. Pumpkin puree/cubes freeze really well, or so I'm told. We opted to use it immediately, so I used some of the puree for a pie and saved the rest to make baby food for Owen. Here's a picture of my delicious end product.
We got into the pie after "The Walking Dead" last night before I could snap a picture of it. Sorry...but I'm not sorry. It was delicious!